You can’t see much of Meridian’s downtown from its busy highway shopping areas, but it actually has a number of old buildings from its heyday as an industry leader in Mississippi that are being nicely refurbished and re-purposed today. (2017, 2019, 2022)
The small downtown core of Meridian has a number of old art deco buildings that have been recently refurbished and look great
Prior to its 1920s boom, Meridian had another heydey in the late 1800’s and one remnant of that is Mississippi’s oldest restaurant. In fact, Meridian was a surprising cultural center for Mississippi. One wealthy family invested in making a theater hall to rival those in New York that actually hosted many national revues. It fell into disrepair in the years after but was recently bought by MSU and refurbished to its 1880’s grandeur.
One of Meridian’s other claims to fame is being the birthplace of Jimmie Rodgers, father of country music.
On the opposite side of the highway from downtown (and hidden behind a bunch of malls) is Bonita Lakes park, a large nature area where you can canoe or just picnic and enjoy the view.
Just outside Meridian is Dunn’s Falls, a waterfall created by the diversion of a stream into the Chunky River originally to run the waterwheel of a grist mill in the 1800s